I’ve got a secret weapon in my quest for the perfect holiday gift: my mobile phone. I say that with tongue firmly in cheek. You’d practically have to be living under a rock to not have noticed that the mobile phone appears to have changed the way we research goods and spend money online. In fact, IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark found that the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site nearly doubled in October 2012 compared to October 2011, reaching 20 percent in November to date.
Your mobile phone has, in all likelihood, either entirely replaced your laptop as your shopping device of choice, or significantly enhanced your overall online and offline shopping experiences. Mobile bridges the gap between online shopping trends and offline buying behaviors and merges the two. In some ways, it’s the keystone of what First Data Corp calls Universal Commerce: delivering a seamless, personalized brand experience to every person, every time.
Mobile marketing is where the action is and here’s why: people love their mobile devices, be they tablets or phones. I mean, don’t you? My phone is never out of reach, it places the power of the Internet literally at my fingertips, and it puts me firmly in control of my every exchange with a brand.
This holiday season as you hit the mall, notice how many people reach for their phones while shopping, accessing coupons, comparing prices. It puts them on equal footing with sales associates and gives them room to negotiate, to boot. It also gives marketers the opportunity to delight them with special location-based offers, once again combining the power of online with an in-store or in-mall experience. That’s what marketers call online-offline convergence; consumers call it a win-win.